On 25 October 2009 the lump on my left breast just felt bigger and so I decided to visit my family doctor. After scans and mammograms, three days later my doctor broke the news ... it was like a smack across the face. I sat there, looked at him, said okay, and walked out. That night in the shower I cried, coz I thought of it as a death sentence. Treatment was chemo, surgery and radiation, which went well for a full year.
In 2011 I was given the all-clear, and I celebrated life. Yes, I had kicked cancer! I watched what I ate and went for a check-up every three months. The usual routine for someone who had just kicked cancer's butt. Then the doctors picked up a lesion - still small, and looked like a tissue scarring from the op. By the next treatment this lesion had grown to three times its size. It was heart breaking. All I could think about was my precious family and how they were going to take this news. I just wanted to scream, and shout, "Why me again, God, what have I done? I don’t deserve this!" Anyway, I pulled up my big socks and took on the challenge. "God won’t give you what you can’t handle," is what I kept telling myself.
In 2012 I started the full programme again, only this time they could not do radiation after the op as the first radiation was too strong and my heart would not be able to handle it.
So we started with another round of chemo, and surgery, which was a mastectomy of the left breast, and reduction on the right breast. All done and happy, I was on my way to recovery. POSITIVE MIND, POSITIVE ATTITUDE was all I needed. With my family and friends behind me, their love and support …"I got this".
In 2015 I started having terrible pain on my lower back. It got to a point where I had to use crutches, and then a wheelchair. I thought "That’s it for me. If I have to be in a wheelchair, my life is over." Dramatic I know, but after what I had been through, this was enough.
The doctors could not give me any more painkillers. I was admitted for an MRI. And guess what? They found a tumour lodged on my spine and pelvic bone. It was growing aggressively and that is why I had this terrible pain. They had done a series of tests and scans - even a bone marrow biopsy - to make sure this was not just a normal fracture.
The news was given to my husband as I was already in a state of denial and depression. No one knows what goes through your mind when listening to this news again. "Why, God, why me? Over and over you keep testing me. I have fought so hard to get to where I am, sacrificed everything to get better for my children and husband. And now this? I can’t do it any more!"
Looking at my children, still in school, I thought how selfish I was being to think only of myself, so the doctors finally convinced me to give science another chance. Looking on the bright side, it has brought me through it all. So since then I have been on meds.
Through all this I was positive. Sometimes I sit and think I have been through all the meds there can be for anyone to take. Seriously, I am the official lab rat. You have to ask yourself, how much more can one person take in life?
Enter 2017 - this is the last straw. I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I have Mets on my lungs, ribs and brain, so I will be on meds for life … or at least what's left of it.
What more can I tell you? I am just taking things one step at a time. I have fought and fought, I have nothing left to give. My body is tired and my mind is at the space to say, "Bring it, I will do my best with what is handed to me now."
I shared this with you because God is great. He has brought me through all of this. With faith, positivity and healthy eating you can beat this devil. If you are out there and feel that you cannot do this, think again. If your mindset is positive and you have a strong team behind you, anything is possible.
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